Historian Tan Tai Yong’s lectures on Singapore launched as book

22 November, 2019

Photo: ‘Minister for Social and Family Development Desmond Lee (left) with Professor Tan Tai Yong’ from The Straits Times

The launch of Professor Tan Tai Yong’s (NUS Department of History) new book, The Idea of Singapore: Smallness Unconstrained (World Scientific, 2019), on 8 November 2019 was featured in The Straits Times. The book details Singapore’s evolution over the past 700 years and the factors that have shaped the nation historically and continue to influence it today.

At the launch, Prof Tan stressed the importance of knowing Singapore’s history given that there are lessons which he believes are important in guiding Singapore forward. For example, he describes the opportunities and limitations that Singapore has faced throughout history and noted that Singapore should remain open to the global economy given that it no longer has a fixed economic hinterland.

Minister for Social and Family Development, Desmond Lee, also spoke at the event. He noted that Prof Tan’s approach to history is “accessible and easy to digest”. He also commended Prof Tan’s contributions to the government, including to the Singapore Bicentennial Advisory Panel where Prof Tan brought new insights and fresh perspectives that challenged the government’s own narrative and presentation of Singapore’s history.

Read the article here.

Find out more about the book here